The EU condemns the use of armed groups and says it is ready to send more aid to Venezuela

On Sunday, the EU condemned the current Venezuelan regime’s use of violence and armed groups to stop humanitarian aid getting into the country.

“The regime’s refusal to recognise the humanitarian crisis has led to an escalation in tensions”, European head of diplomacy Federica Mogherini said during a declaration to the 28 EU member states. “We reject the use of armed groups to intimidate civilians and legislators are moving to get aid distributed”, she said.

“We are receiving worrying information about disturbances, violence and an increasing number of victims, particularly in border regions. They mostly involve the aboriginal Pemon community. We would ask law enforcement and security forces in the country to show restraint, to avoid using excessive force and let aid in immediately”, she concluded.

On Sunday, American State Secretary Mike Pompeo announced the United States would “act to support Juan Guaido’s opponent”. The EU “categorically excluded supporting or accepting any military action in Venezuela” during a Foreign Affairs minister’s meeting in Brussels on Monday.

There were disturbances along Venezuela’s borders with Colombia and Brazil on Saturday. Demonstrators were demanding convoys carrying humanitarian aid be allowed into the country. Several border posts were blocked by the army, which is loyal to Mr Maduro. They are refusing to let aid in as they see it as an American intervention disguised as aid.

On Sunday, Mrs Mogherini also said that the European Union was ready to increase the amount of aid it sends to Venezuela. She added that the EU had already committed to sending more than 60 million euros in humanitarian and development aid between 2018 and 2019.

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